the thing about ‘just’

Following on from yesterday, isn’t it funny how some things strike a chord in people whilst many things are like ‘water off a ducks back?’ that is, barely gets a first thought never alone a second one. I got lots of responses from yesterday most of them private which illustrated my thoughts, we as the human kind over think and over feel too much. What some people don’t consider as important, knocks others for a six, meaning they take it to heart so much so, it can stop them and get them thinking of responses and ‘what if’s’ for days even weeks, after the event. Most times the person who causes this has moved onto their next target and completely forgotten you along the way.

There have been times in my life where my first reaction is to come out fighting, either verbally or in writing, there have been times when some ones word have reduced me to silent tears of despair and feelings of inadequacy. This is where the old saying of “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Most of us have felt the sting of words written and verbalized in our lives. I have taken over the last couple of years to have written lengthy emails in response to some I have received, sent them to myself or a friend and asked the question of myself is this what you really want to say or to my friends should I send this? I think if you ask that question you already know the answer is NO. The email states do not respond to this in under 24 hours so that I can think it through more but in some cases I get an immediate response “DO NOT SEND” (capitals) “CALL ME INSTEAD” inferring urgency in their response.

Most of them have the word ‘just’ in them, like “I just need to let you know…” well actually I don’t, it should be “I want you to know” or “I am letting you know” any of the following is better than using the word ‘just’. ‘Just’ by it’s definition denotes some characteristic or according to the dictionary “based on or behaving according to what is right or morally fair”. Isn’t this sometimes an oxymoron? especially when you know the perpetrator is anything but fair, and what has been stated or leveled at you is nothing like the situation (as you understand it) or witnessed it but the other person has gotten in first to paint themselves in a better light.

Perhaps we need to remove ‘just’ from our language or speech as an operating theatre nurse , we would have to state to the closest male or female “I am just ducking out to go to the toilet.” as they needed to be aware that you were no longer there to help. It took me a long time to stop asking / telling people what I was doing when I first changed careers. People would look at me and say “I don’t need to know that.” Well in my old occupation they actually did, as you would have to get some one to relieve you so no patient was put in danger.

There was an email Tuesday sent to me under false pretences, using or responding to a previous happy email sent a week earlier (going by the subject matter). There was nothing in this email that was about the subject matter and in fact it gave me statistics and a personal opinion of what they thought (it wasn’t nice) about me, in actual fact it made me laugh which is not what I think the writer wanted. There certainly was an expectation that it would affect me, perhaps make me respond back but I laughed out loud. It made many assumptions from a third hand comment passed to this person and missed the whole base of the original concept. It actually affirmed many things for me as the initial question was not even touched upon. It also made me think I wonder why the writer thinks that I would care about the opinion that they expressed about me would affect me, trust me it was designed to upset me and it didn’t upset me. I do not hold them in the high esteem that I once did so perhaps they weren’t aware that I felt this way but the email had a couple of ‘just’ in it.

I am going to try to work in my world without ‘just’, because I can. I can set an experiment to see if people respond better, more honestly or perhaps make myself included think about my conversation so that the messages I want to get across do get there without moral interpretation. “say it like it is” I wonder how hard that will be, let me (‘just’) think about this for a while. 🙂

Communication’s Breakdown all around

Well I have well and truly had enough of this week, it being Friday and all it’s been a tough week since last Saturday. I received another of those calls that no parent wants to hear, the first one (many years ago) “do we have ambulance cover Mum?” yes we do and yes it was used for a dislocated shoulder. This saturday, “I have been in a car accident do I have insurance and what do I do?” yes she does and I’ll see you in 3 hours as I hang up the phone and race out the door. That is the perils of living in the country, it’s never just 20 minutes away, it is three hours and one can not shorten it. I have a wonderful family that are close by that can help her out and did so, by packing up all the stuff in the car and delivering her to her home. She was sore and has a suspected fractured rib, so I stayed and worked on doing 3 years of business tax whilst looking after her.

This is where the trouble started I was loving myself sick on Wednesday night when I got back to the farm, I have set myself goals to complete tasks so I can move my life forward and look for work. I am still effectively unemployed and I hate it. So yesterday I have 1 folder of receipts to go and was in the process of doing this when we needed to head to the local town to organise our banking, but we also needed to go where we could get internet access. Our home Internet has not worked since Tuesday and we need to do banking etc. I shut my computer down as per normal to return to reboot and it would not reboot. Not having done a back up on this information I felt sick. I rang the company as per the instructions on my screen to be told it needs a new hard drive. UGGGH! the waves of horror waft through me.

I spent the better part of 2 hours on the phone for the house internet provider to be told it needs to be replaced and they would send a new box within 2 working days – for us that means no internet till next Wednesday at the earliest. Talking with technicians re my laptop they will send a technician on Monday to an Adelaide address. In the meantime I am panicking about my taxes and then all of the Keith Hospital Cook Book stuff I have done over the last month or so. Yes slap me you computer geeks I only do a 1 month back up but in this case I had left it for 2 months. Standing in the shower this morning I feel like Carrie Bradshaw when she lost all her info on her computer and could not get any of it back.

I have rung another town computer service explained the problem and was lectured – you should do a daily back up (I know I know) if you want to keep important files. That won’t help me now will it, that is lessons for later. He wants my laptop, adaptor & back up drive to see if he can recover it. I explain how it went and he tells me I may be lucky, I have no idea and I feel a massive headache coming on. I put off all this work on my taxes as I was too busy, too preoccupied with Keith Hospital and well just plain annoyed with the work I had to do, so put off till tomorrow what I should have done 3 years ago. It’s terrible, now I regret it. I actually may have to start over and will do so by this afternoon as I can not wait to see if it retrieved as I need to close it off on my schedule now.

I have dug my old laptop out so that I can use it, so I sit here in town using the computer and instead of doing all I need to do I am blogging as I wait for the call about my important laptop. I have put all the files from my back up drive here on this computer and can work on ‘stuff’. I have applied for 5 jobs over the last 7 days and 3 have already got back to me that I am not what they are looking for. Sigh!! I need to keep moving.


Bank Accounts and Farming

We have had to change banks this month, the account belonging to the farm was opened in excess of 15 years or more ago. It was opened as an operating account for the trust (of which I am not a part of). The Directors of the trust as those that own the farm, DH, & the In laws. This has worked well for many years and will see it to cessation as time goes by. The Adelaide bank has sold off this section of the branch and the new company have decided to close that banking arm – FANTASTIC in the year of the Farmer NOT. We were sent a letter which gave us a one month period to find a new account, it has to have the basic criteria of having a cheque book, though these little paper slips are almost extinct some businesses can not be B paid, Anypay, pay at the post office or by cash they need to be done with cheque i.e. ASIC.

I have researched options and boy Banks cash in on small businesses, there are some that offer a 5 transaction limit then charge $1.60 per transaction after that and on average the farm would do 15 transactions per month on a slow month. This is on top of the account keeping fee and cheque book fee, etc. These are the days of the shareholder banks that make many millions in profit despite crying poor. Also we in the country are limited by closures and lack of branches, so we looked at what is available for convenience and closeness. with a limited time to do this we asked advice from our accountant and then proceeded to meet with the local manager.

Rural families are different from any others, the Directors are also parents, I have no legal claim to anything which is ok with me, it makes things difficult though. I am not a signatory on any of the accounts, though I do all of the book work for the business. This is not an issue for me as such in that it is only inconvenient at times when I need to have cheques signed. The request of the parents in opening the account is that they remain signatories and it has been requested that I am as well. The farm pays for many of the parents living expenses and will do until they are no longer with us, they have bequeathed their shares to each other and only after death does it become DH’s. There is no issue here, this is just the matter of fact, this is how they work and this is what farming families do. In the new ear of credit & debit cards, no pass books the issue now is according to the bank manager – how many cards do we issue and how many customer numbers are required, as they will remain signatories. Our Lovely bank manager found it a bit perplexing that the three directors would be signing and I would just be a signature and we only needed 1 card, 1 customer number.

There we all sat with the bank manager and he was working hard to accommodate us, it took him about 2 hours work to put it together and then we invited the parents in law to come and sign the paper work. 5 of us in his office and asking how many linking up of the accounts to other accounts did there need to be? Only 1 the current working Director. 4 cards? no we settle on 2, 1 for the current working Director and 1 for the book-keeper, bill payer then we even have to choose a colour of the card. This being done the parents in law sign and check that it is not stated that I am a Director but a signature only. Bank Manager then wants to show us how to use the accounts, register it and link it all up, I am in the far corner and can not see the screen (not helpful for the book-keeper really) so DH informs parents they can go, which they do albeit reluctantly. It is not that we hide anything from them, they get copies of the books annually or upon requests  it’s just that it has become in their words far too complicated for them to do all of this now (sign of old age).

This is how it rolls in rural families, sons and daughters may not own their own places till the parents pass on. It is restrictive and it is still controlling the lives of middle-aged children, in some it breeds resentment, others complacency and contentment in others. My DH is content with his lot which is lucky, he has been left to his own devices to run the property and the stock as he sees fit. He has always wanted what was fair rather than a pot of gold he had not worked for.


I don’t like the word “shut up”

Isn’t it funny how over the years with all of the slang and the f word becoming part of main stream language, it doesn’t really rate with me as much as “shut up” does. It really is a conversation stopper, a mean way of making others feel inferior, small and terrible. I find the delivery is not so much the question but the word itself is just so heart stopping.

I said it to DH (Dear Husband) this morning as a joke and then instantly regretted it. He took it as a joke, as I have been up running round preparing for 20 people coming for lunch today since 830 whilst he has sat, had a cooked breakfast (yes I cooked it whilst preparing egg salad, doing a load of washing & cleaning) and then states “Oh Dear” at 10am” so I replied with shut up. He instantly laughed and got up and began to assist me. We talked about the word and how final it is and no matter the delivery it really is a conversation killer.

There is nowhere to go once it’s out there. To ‘shut up’ or to get some one to ‘shut up’ is really offensive. One must feel threatened by the conversation to say it, one must feel maligned to feel it and one must be at the end of their tether to want to put it out there, yell it or think it. I have tried for years not to use it, though you may not agree with anothers opinion, it doesn’t give one the right to put it out there. Change the topic, agree to disagree that is the kinder thing to do. This word along with a couple of others I try not to say very often if at all.